If you are struggling with a low income you may be entitled to benefits, whether you are working or not.
Universal Credit is a new benefit that is replacing many of the current benefits and tax credits with a single monthly payment. It is designed to support working age people with their basic living expenses and housing costs.
It is gradually being introduced across the country and will replace the following benefits:
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credits
- Housing Benefit (some exceptions apply)
Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit monthly payment that has replaced some other benefits. You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or out of work.
Working Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit is a means-tested or income-related payment to top up the earnings of working people on low incomes, including those who do not have children or who have a disability. You cannot claim Working Tax Credit if you are under 16 years of age.
Please note: You can no longer make a new claim for Working Tax Credit and will need to claim Universal Credit instead.
Child Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit is a means-tested credit for families with children and is paid direct to the main carer. The amount you will get depends on your income. You can qualify for Child Tax Credit whether you are working or not.
Please note: You can no longer make a new claim for Child Tax Credit and will need to claim Universal Credit instead.
Income Support is a means-tested or income-related benefit which provides basic living expenses for you and your partner. It can be paid on its own if you have no other income or it can top up other benefits or earnings from part-time work.
Please note: You can no longer make a new claim for Income Support and will need to claim Universal Credit instead.
You can claim Housing Benefit if you and/ or your partner are liable to pay rent for the accommodation ‘normally occupied’ by you or your family and your income is low enough in your circumstances.
Please note: You can no longer make a new claim for Housing Benefit unless you are in one of the groups that can still claim. Check to see if you can still claim Housing Benefit. If you cannot claim Housing Benefit you will need to claim Universal Credit for help with your rent.
Council Tax Reduction Scheme
Council Tax Reduction can help you to pay your council tax costs if you are on a low income.
The Extended Payment Scheme
The Extended Payment Scheme can allow you to continue receiving Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction for the first four weeks of employment before your first pay cheque.
For further advice, you can contact our Welfare Rights and Money Advice team.